Oxnard Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Was your loved one abused or neglected in a nursing home? Did they suffer an injury or illness as a result of the mistreatment? If so, contact the Oxnard personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC today. We might be able to help you pursue compensation your family member deserves.
It’s an upsetting and overwhelming feeling when you realize your loved one needs the kind of care you can’t provide for them. You know that placing them in a nursing home would be best for their overall wellbeing. After thorough research, you believe you found a facility that will meet their needs. Unfortunately, someone at that facility decided to take advantage of their vulnerability.
The injuries suffered from abuse can be severe and even fatal. Older adults typically can’t defend themselves from an attack. Additionally, patients often have cognitive issues that prevent them from remembering what happened, causing these incidents to go unreported. Some injuries aren’t just physical. Many victims end up with psychological or emotional damage requiring ongoing counseling. The long-term effects of abuse can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our Oxnard nursing home abuse lawyers will advocate for your loved one and aggressively seek the money they’re owed. They should not be financially responsible for hospital bills, physical therapy, or additional expenses if their actions didn’t contribute to their injuries. Take the first step in the fight for justice by calling us at (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Nursing home abuse involves intentionally causing harm to a resident in a long-term care facility. The abuser is often a trusted caregiver, such as a nurse. Six types of abuse can occur in a nursing home.
Physical abuse occurs when a staff member intentionally causes a patient physical injury or pain by using physical force. The most common examples of this form of abuse are:
- Unnecessarily using restraints
- Throwing objects at the resident
Psychological or Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse refers to inflicting emotional distress or pain with verbal and nonverbal acts. Common examples include:
Financial abuse and financial exploitation are terms used interchangeably to describe the unlawful use of someone else’s financial assets. Examples can include:
- Withdrawing money from an ATM without permission
- Forging signatures on a legal document, such as a power of attorney
- Unauthorized transferring of funds
- Stealing personal property from the patient’s room
- Charging purchases to a credit card
Neglect involves a caretaker failing to provide basic needs to a patient. The most common examples are:
- Delaying the necessary medical treatment of an injury
- Leaving a resident in soiled clothes
- Withholding water or food
- Failing to keep the bedroom organized and clean
- Withholding participation in social activities
Sexual abuse is coerced or forced sexual acts. It doesn’t have to involve physical contact. Any unwanted activity of a sexual nature can be considered abuse. Common types include:
- Inappropriate touching of private parts
- Showing explicit images or videos
- Coercing the patient into undressing
- Forcing participation in degrading or painful sexual activity
Abandonment and neglect are similar. However, abandonment involves the constant desertion of a patient. Examples include:
- Denying a patient their daily medications
- Ignoring a request for help walking to the bathroom
- Failing to turn a bed-bound resident to prevent bedsores
- Providing food that doesn’t meet specific dietary or nutritional needs
- Leaving an immobile patient alone in a wheelchair
Older adults are often susceptible to abuse because they depend on others to care for them. They need daily assistance with routine tasks. It’s much easier for a caregiver to take advantage of a patient when they can’t defend themselves. Many fear what will happen to them if they report the incident, and the fear makes them stay quiet.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
Although you might think your loved one is safe in a nursing home, they could become a victim of abuse. It is your job to be their advocate and observe any unusual injuries or behavioral changes. If you think the harm they suffered resulted from some type of abuse, it’s critical to take immediate action.
The most common warning signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bloody or torn clothing
- Unusual financial activity
- Sudden decline in cognitive functioning
- Burns, bruises, and cuts
- Fear of a particular person
- Unexplained injuries
- Loss of mobility
- Vision or hearing loss
- New or worsening mental illness
- Mood or behavioral changes
- Missing cash or belongings
- Damaged personal property
- Unkempt appearance
- Lack of necessary medical care
- Confusion or disorientation
If you notice any of these or other signs that might indicate abuse occurred, take the necessary steps to protect your loved one from additional harm and hold their abuser accountable.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
One of the most important things you need to do if your loved one has been abused is to take them to the hospital to treat any injuries. After an initial evaluation, the physician might recommend follow-up care. Be sure they attend all necessary appointments until they heal.
You can keep copies of documents associated with the abuse. Maintain any doctor bills or medical records you receive. It would also be helpful to request copies of their records from the nursing home. Evidence is crucial to prove their injury resulted from abuse instead of another incident.
Whatever you do, don’t move your loved one back into the facility while they’re recovering from their injuries. The abuse could continue and lead to more harm. If you can’t take care of them, move them in with a trusted family member or friend to look out for them while you look for a more permanent solution.
You should also hire a lawyer immediately after you learn about the abuse. An experienced legal team can represent your loved one and help seek compensation from the negligent facility or staff member. Attempting to take on the legal process alone could result in a denied insurance claim or much less money than necessary to cover medical treatment and other expenses.
Multiple resources are available to help. You can call the local police department at (805) 385-7600 to file a police report. Reach out to your local long-term care ombudsman at (805) 656-1986 for assistance with an investigation to try to resolve the issue. Adult Protective Services can also investigate abuse complaints. Call the Ventura County hotline at (805) 654-3200.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Abuse victims typically suffer various types of losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Damage to personal property
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
The compensation received in an insurance claim or lawsuit could compensate for these losses. The at-fault party should be held liable for their actions and become financially responsible for all losses if they were entirely at fault for the injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
The World Health Organization estimates that one in six adults 60 years of age and older have experienced abuse in a community setting. These incidents are prevalent in assisted living facilities, such as nursing homes. In fact, two out of three staff members have reported committing abuse against a resident.
The overall prevalence of different types of abuse reported by patients in long-term care facilities and their proxies include:
- Psychological abuse – 33.4%
- Financial abuse – 13.8%
- Sexual abuse – 1.9%
- Neglect – 11.6%
- Physical abuse – 14.1%
California is one of several states with the highest rate of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of older adults. According to a study, abuse is prevalent in this state because of a lack of elder abuse protections and resources.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
OnderLaw, LLC is among the elite firms in the country. We hold an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating indicating our level of legal abilities and achievements. We also received awards from prestigious organizations, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers.
Our Oxnard nursing home abuse lawyers will tailor our services to meet your needs and provide the one-on-one attention you deserve. We understand the struggle of learning about the abuse your loved one endured. It’s shocking and upsetting. You and your case will be our top priority from the second you hire us.
Paying medical bills and other costs can become an economic burden. You might worry about how you’ll afford to hire a lawyer. At OnderLaw, LLC, we take cases on contingency, so you’re not responsible for upfront fees and costs. We won’t expect payment of our legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Contact a Trusted Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer from OnderLaw, LLC
OnderLaw, LLC is dedicated to helping abuse victims hold negligent parties liable for their wrongdoing. We know the trauma your loved one has been through and how hard it can be to recover. Our legal team will fight by your side to protect their rights and pursue the maximum possible compensation.
If you found out your relative has been abused in a nursing home, contact one of our Oxnard nursing home abuse lawyers at (314) 963-9000. We will discuss the incident during a free consultation and advise you about the next steps you should take.